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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gastric Pneumatosis After Accidental Ingestion of Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide: A Case Report


Introduction: Hydrogen peroxide is a common oxidizing agent that if ingested may cause injury to the gastrointestinal tract or embolic events. Although therapy is primarily supportive, gastric perforation is a rare but serious complication of corrosive ingestion that may require surgical treatment.

Case Report: We report the case of a 77-year-old male who presented for nausea and vomiting after accidentally ingesting approximately 150 milliliters of 35% hydrogen peroxide. Computed tomography revealed gastric pneumatosis and extensive portal venous air. The patient was admitted for observation with plans for endoscopy; however, due to the limitations of our small community hospital, he was transferred to a tertiary care center due to concern for a potential gastric perforation.

Conclusion: The presence of portal venous air as a result of peroxide ingestion may be treated conservatively depending on presenting symptoms; however, severe injury such as gastrointestinal perforation may necessitate surgical intervention.

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